KEEP THE SOUP FLOWING
“A Hug in a Bowl” is the Soup Sisters and Broth Brothers slogan that says it all! Soup Sisters mission is to provide support in a kind, generous and meaningful way while promoting civic engagement and building communities through a hands-on event that also provides awareness toward the issues of domestic abuse and family violence. Often times when a woman chooses to leave an abusive or volatile relationship; they do so with little more than the clothes on their back. Our organization has created a program that allows these individuals to receive wholesome and nutritious soups that not only provide sustenance physically but emotionally as well.
Soup Sisters is an innovative social marketing and community-building program that is 100% volunteer driven at the event-level. With its unique blend of providing cooking fun, making a tangible difference through a simple gesture and choosing an issue that profoundly touches all communities the Soup Sisters concept has fired the imagination of thousands of volunteers and dozens of Chefs across the country.
Monthly, Soup Sisters orchestrates 29 soup-making events nation-wide, six of which are in Calgary alone and include our Souper Kids youth events. Providing a sustainable source of nurture and nourish these renowned community soup making events serve up a combined 10,000 servings of our special “hugs in a bowl” to over 40 local emergency shelters and youth in transition programs across Canada every month of the year.
Through our soup-making programs, we have learned that people are looking for a way to make a difference in the lives of others that goes beyond writing a cheque. Often times we witness our soup-makers deeply moved by the hundreds of litres of fresh soup they have created for strangers in crisis. In a three-hour window participants have accomplished a great deal and provided a meaningful gesture that often times translates into a life-changing message of true support.
However, with growth and success come increased operational needs and requirements. Our growth sadly will never peak because there are unfortunately too large a number of shelters seeking our support. Our concern is securing the resources needed to maintain our own success and ability to meet community demand. And so, the goal of our Keep the Soup Flowing project is quite simply to remain sustainable on behalf of all of the shelters, women, children and youth we support in Calgary and Southern Alberta.
Who Will it Benefit?
What makes us clearly unique is that there is no other organization that reaches women and children in crisis at the ground level with the simple virtue of kindness. While many organizations support shelters with much needed funding these funds often times go unnoticed by the very demographic we are all striving to assist. Soup Sisters collaborates with cooking schools, restaurants, golf courses, and hotels eliminating the need for our own kitchen facility. No bricks, no mortar – just a simple plan to collaborate at every level and provide a much-needed nutrition and a message that says ‘we care’.
Each month, with the help of over 150 volunteers, Soup Sisters delivers over 900 servings of fresh, nutritious homemade soup to women’s’ emergency and second-stage shelters throughout Calgary and area. CWES, YWCA Mary Dover House, Awo-Taan Healing Lodge, Highbanks Society, Cornerstone Youth Centre, The Doorway, Rowan House in High River, Woods Homes & Blackfoot Family Lodge in Lethbridge are a sample of the shelters receiving nutritious and nurturing soup on a monthly basis in Calgary and throughout Southern Alberta.
With the financial support of the Field Law Community Fund, Soup Sisters would be benefiting upwards of 9,000 women, children and youth in crisis in Calgary and Southern Alberta over a one-year period. The monetary and socio- economic value of donations of the hundreds of servings of nutritious soup to recipient Emergency Shelters in-turn will provide over $10,000 dollars annually in socio-economic value to each shelter we support locally, thereby decreasing their operating costs by a reported 18-20% allowing these funds to be put back into much needed programming and support services. It is also important to note that the shelters often attest that our soups provide self-esteem to shelter residents at this time of crisis in their lives where they believe that no one cares. The message that comes with the soup is hugely impactful and a testament to a caring community.
Complimenting this sizeable social impact, funding through the Field Law Community program will further enable Soup Sisters to expand our programming to reach more than 1,400 youth as well as youth-serving organizations in Calgary and area while in turn increasing volunteerism within in this group through the continued operations of our Souper Kids programs.